Did you know you can use rutabagas the same way you use potatoes? Mashed, roasted, scalloped, even spiralized and fries!

Here’s one of my favorite uses for rutabagas – a flavorful meat pie that’s hot and hearty on cold days. It’s based on the pasties we enjoy in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Mama B’s Meat Pie with Ruties

pile of rutabagas with green stems cut shortIngredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 medium rutabagas peeled and diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef or other meat
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon flour to thicken
  • 2 ready-made deep dish pie crusts
  • 1 egg with water for egg wash


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add oil, then onion and saute until transparent. Add garlic and rutabaga and stir. Cook 2 minutes. Add ground meat and brown, breaking it up well.  Season with thyme, salt, pepper, and tomato paste.
  3. Add flour and stir in well to thicken the mixture into a gravy.
  4. Pre-bake a pie crust in a pie pan for about 10 minutes to brown slightly so that filling doesn’t make your bottom crust soggy.
  5. Fill the pre-baked crust with the meat and vegetable filling and top with raw crust and crimp edges. Poke holes with fork or knife in the top crust to vent. Brush egg wash all over the top crust. Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with a green salad, and you’ve got a delicious complete meal. Makes 6-8 servings.

This is the basic recipe, but you can do other variations on this theme. Any ground meat could be used like bison, venison, pork, lamb, turkey, etc. You could even do it with chunks of meat instead of ground.

Other vegetables can be substituted or added like potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and even cauliflower or mushrooms. You can also spice it up a bit with things like paprika, red chile flakes, chili powder, curry powder, or za’atar.

And if you want to eliminate the bottom crust for fewer carbs, that would work too. You could even make your top crust a puff pastry , or mashed rutabagas ala shepherd’s pie.

However you do it, don’t be afraid to give rutabagas a try in this and other recipes where you would traditionally have used potatoes.